Is self-sufficiency selfish?

In a very real sense, yes.

Every hour I devote to personal self-sufficiency is an hour I take away from my Fair Trade business, which by its very definition is focused on helping others (usually on the other side of the globe). It is an hour I take away from the students I teach each Fall. It is an hour I take away from visiting with friends. It is an hour I take away from sleeping.

So why do I do this?

Partially because I believe a time is coming (likely in my lifetime, definitely in my children’s lifetime) when life will get very local, very quickly. The time I spend in preparations for myself and my family is a selfish investment. But I believe it to be a wise one that will enable us to help others (neighbors, friends, family) later, when they are in dire need due to lack of preparations.

Becoming self-sufficient myself – and teaching my children how to become so, as well – is one of my primary duties as a parent.